At this year's MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York City on July 16, 30 veterans, each representing one of the 30 MLB teams, will be recognized in a special Tribute for Heroes ceremony.
Thousands of veterans were nominated, and they have now been narrowed down to three per team. Fans are able to vote to decide who will attend the All-Star Game. The candidate with the most votes for his or her respective team will have a chance to attend and be recognized in New York, and one will be featured in People magazine.
One of the Los Angeles Dodgers finalists is Navajo Code Talker David Patterson. Here is the biography of Patterson provided on the official Tribute for Heroes website.
Courtesy Cherokee Nation
L to R) Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Joe Crittenden and Tribal Councilors Tina Glory-Jordan and David Walkingstick congratulate Veteran Donald Vann, along with Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd.
David E. Patterson Sr. of Rio Rancho, N.M., is among an elite group of marines who helped create the only unbroken code in modern military history. As one of the Navajo Code Talkers, David and other Navajos coded and decoded classified military dispatches during WWII using a code derived from their native tongue. The Code Talkers took part in every Marine assault, from Guadalcanal in 1942 to Okinawa in 1945, including the Marshall Islands, Kwajalein, Iwo Jima, and Saipan, and doubtless helped win the war. After he was discharged, David, now 90, went to college in Oklahoma and New Mexico, becoming a social worker. He married and raised his family on the reservation in Shiprock, N.M., and worked for the Navajo Nation's Division of Social Services until retiring in 1987. He was awarded the Silver Congressional Medal of Honor in 2001 and up until last year volunteered in a Shiprock school on the Navajo Reservation as a foster grandparent.
For more information on Tribute for Heroes and to vote for Patterson, click here and then click on the LA Dodgers logo. You can vote as many times as you like. And please be sure to read about all of the veterans detailed on the Tribute for Hereos website--all 90 of these men and women are truly heroes.